Philips Airfryer vs Tefal Actifry - which one should you buy?
If you're looking for an air fryer you've probably come across Philips Airfryers and Tefal Actifry, as these two brands are big news in the world of low-fat fryers. But which company makes the best fryers, and are there other brands you should be considering?
Every year, we test air fryers from all the major brands, including Philips Airfryers and the Tefal Actifry range, as well as brands such as Breville Halo, DeLonghi, Russell Hobbs and Salter. We rigorously test each fryer, looking for the ones that are easy to use and make tasty air-fried food.
We also survey Which? members to find out their views, and whether their air fryers developed any faults over time. This unique data means we can tell you which brands make the best chips and are likely to last – and the ones to avoid.
Actifry vs Airfryer – features compared
Tefal was the first brand to launch a low-fat fryer – the Actifry – around 10 years ago, closely followed by Philips with its Airfryer. Both brands have released a number of versions since then. New models usually have minor changes such as a different capacity or extra features. More recent launches are claimed to be faster than ever at cooking your food.
Tefal Actifry models cost from £100 to just under £250. A higher price will get you a larger capacity for cooking – up to 1.5kg – and more advanced features, such as the extra cooking layer of the . Some new models have smart capabilities, so you can control them with an app on your smartphone.
Philips has fewer models in the Airfryer range and prices start a little higher, at around £150.
Both brands' fryers use air that's heated and blasted around the inside of the appliance, along with a small amount of oil, to cook food. Actifry models have a paddle that turns food as it cooks. Check our to find out if you need this feature to get evenly cooked chips.
Which brand is best?
As well as buying the fryer that makes the tastiest food and is quick and easy to use, you'll want to know that it will continue to churn out chips for years to come.
In the table below we've brought together all our expert air-fryer knowledge to give you the definitive verdict on which brand is best, including:
- how well each brand's fryers perform in our tough tests
- which brands last for longest without developing problems, based on feedback from owners
- owners' views on whether they're happy with their fryer, and whether they would recommend it to others
- our overall verdict.
Air fryer brands rated
|Brand||Average test score||Reliability score||How owners rate this brand||Best air fryer brand: Overview of our verdict|
|71%||93%||69%||Our top pick: This brand is very reliable: more than nine in ten people said their fryer remained fault-free in the first five years of ownership. Its air fryers make tasty chips, too – we've found several Best Buys from this brand, so it's a good choice if you want chips you can count on.|
|68%||90%||72%||Some of the best air fryers we've tested are from this brand. They produce top-quality food, including golden chips and perfectly cooked chicken, and are a breeze to use. Quality can be variable, though, as some models aren't as good as others, and the brand is a little less reliable overall.|
Choosing the best brand of air fryer
As the table above shows, one popular air-fryer brand has the edge for reliability, and a slightly higher average test score too. Our reliability score takes into account when faults occurred and how severe they were. However, when you look at only the frequency of faults, one brand takes a more substantial lead, suggesting that if you want to avoid any issues, it's a safer bet:
But what about the lesser-known brands? While we don't have enough data to report individually on brands such as Breville, Delonghi and Salter, our feedback on smaller air-fryer brands suggests that overall they are also quite reliable compared with other small appliances such as toasters.
Some of these brands sell very cheap air fryers, some costing as little as £60. There's no point paying less for a product that's next to useless, though, and our tests have revealed that some cheaper air fryers are truly terrible. One model scored a pitiful 33%. Check our list of so you know which models to avoid.
Most common air-fryer problems
We asked Which? members about the issues they’d encountered with their air fryers, and the biggest problems were down to smaller parts breaking. The top three most frequent faults were:
- 25% - broken parts, such as buttons, power cord, handle or timer
- 8% - basket or tray getting stuck
- 8% - appliance overheating or not getting hot enough
The good news is that it's usually possible to replace parts such as a broken stirring paddle, so if this problem occurs, it doesn't mean the end of your fryer. Tefal sells spare Actrifry paddles from around £6.50.
Best and worst air fryers
To help you choose an air fryer, we've rounded up the best models from Philips and Tefal, as well as a Don't Buy you should avoid.